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Officer discharges gun after shooting in West Baltimore

Police are investigating a shooting in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. (Karl Merton Ferron and Yvonne Wenger / Baltimore Sun video)

An officer fired his gun Saturday evening at Gilmor Homes after police heard a shooting and found an 18-year-old victim.

Police spokeswoman Detective Nicole Monroe said that at about 7:30 p.m. officers were in the 1600 block of Mountmor Court in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood investigating drug activity when they heard gunfire a block away in the 1600 block of N. Mount Street.

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The officers ran west toward the gunfire, and found the victim who had been shot by someone inside a fleeing sedan. A police sergeant discharged his firearm at the dark-colored sedan, Monroe said. It is unclear if anyone was struck by the officer’s gun, she said.

Shortly after the exchange, a male with lacerations to his face was dropped off by the sedan at McKean Avenue and Presstman Street. Police said they believe the male was inside the sedan during the shooting of the 18-year-old, and that his lacerations were from broken glass. The male has been taken to an area hospital for treatment.

“Police were running toward gunfire,” Monroe said. “They were in the next block doing what they’re supposed to do. They were investigating narcotics activity. And they heard gunfire in the next block.”

Police are continuing to search for the sedan and its occupants.

Monroe said she did not have an update on the 18-year-old’s condition.

The detective declined to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting, but said he was a 10-year veteran of the force. He will be placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, she said.

Police set up an expansive staging area at Gilmor Homes, yards from where Freddie Gray was taken into custody four years ago. They moved the crime scene tape to extend the scene farther after discovering that a black Chevrolet SUV had been hit by a bullet. Nearly a dozen markers noted the places where shell casings landed.

Michelle Dickens and Jennifer Moore were walking home from grocery shopping around 9 p.m. when they came upon the shooting scene.

“Four years later — same [expletive],” Dickens said of the proximity to the site of Gray’s arrest. Gray died in police custody after being injured during his arrest in April 2015. His death set off widespread rioting and looting in the city.

Dickens said she wants an explanation from police about why an officer fired a weapon Saturday.

“If they're chasing an assailant, why do they have to discharge their weapon when there is so many kids living in this community? You have kids running and playing around here all day long, sometimes until after 10 at night,” she said.

“And if the police are discharging their weapons, what makes them think these dudes are gonna put their weapons down, if they’re popping off?”

Moore said an officer warned her to walk around the crime scene to get to her house, leaving her and Dickens to walk through a dark alley at night.

“Look at the type of attitude we have with the police and that is why, especially when the investigation came out on Baltimore Police Department and all those crooked cops,” Moore said, speaking of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force.

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“I thought, ‘Oh my God, someone’s died,’ because I saw the little things for the shell casings.”

Dickens said she is grateful a child wasn’t caught up in the gunfire.

“The way [the police] discharge their weapons is unsafe for the whole community. It could have been a kid at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Dickens said.

Monroe said the goal for the department is provide as much information on the incident as residents need.

“As long as we remain transparent and the public gets the information that they need, they will be satisfied,” she said.

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